The Best Firewood for Your Fireplace or Woodstove

We all know that wood burns.  We also know that there are many species of woods available.  But what types of wood are the best to use in your fireplace or woodstove?  In this article, you will learn what the best types of wood to use in your fireplace, the worst types of wood not to use, and some safety tips for you to follow.

Hardwood Firewood

The best firewood to use in your fireplace or woodstove is:  

oak firewood

 

  • Maple
  • White or Red Oak
  • Ash
  • Birch
  • Hickory
  • Fruit-tree woods

These woods burn hotter and longer than other species.  They also have the least amount of sap and pitch in them which results in a cleaner burn.  

Another important factor for having the best firewood is that it must be

Seasoned Firewood

Best Firewood to use in fireplaceSeasoned firewood is wood that has been properly dried out.  The one thing you do not want to do is to burn wet wood in your stove or fireplace.  If you burn wet wood, not only is it difficult to burn, it smokes a lot which creates a build-up of creosote within your chimney. 

By burning seasoned hardwood, not only do you get a hotter fire, there is minimal creosote buildup.  Season wood should have no more than 25% moisture in it.  Typically if done naturally, it would take about 2 years to dry out.

Seasoned Wood Tip:

To best season wood, rotate your piles of wood throughout the year.  Cover only the top to protect the pile from moisture.

What Not to Use

Softwoods are not meant for an indoor fireplace or woodstove.  Softwoods consist of:

  • Pine
  • Spruce
  • Fir
  • Cedar
  • Cottonwood

The issue with softwoods is that they contain more sap and resin which results in an extreme amount of creosote buildup, and even in worst-case scenarios, a tar buildup in the flue.

Creosote build-up is the #1 cause of dangerous chimney fires.  

Safety Tips for your Fireplace or Woodstove

A warm, crackling fire is wonderful to enjoy.  But there are necessary precautions to take to ensure you and your family are safe:

  • Never burn unattended or sleeping
  • Keep a fire extinguisher next to your fireplace
  • Install a Carbon-Monoxide detector in the same room as your fireplace or wood-stove
  • Install a fire alarm in or adjacent to where your fireplace is located
  • Test all alarms on a regular basis
  • Burn Seasoned Hardwood
  • Get Your Chimney and Fireplace Cleaned Annually

Enjoy The Season

My family at Paxton Chimney Sweep & Repair want you and your family to enjoy the warmth and memories made around your fireplace.  Your family and children will never forget the time spent in front of the fireplace.  We just want it to be safe and enjoyable for all!

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Ike Paxton

Ike Paxton owns and operates Paxton Chimney Sweep & Repair.

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